The internet can be a wonderful, joy-filled, treasure trove of amazement.

But it can also be a dirge of sadness, anxiety, and general ennui.

In these hilarious comics, Sara Zimmerman of Unearthed Comics gives some insight into the pains, joys, and anxiety that we’ve all experienced online.

Science fiction writer William Gibson wrote in a prescient story for the New York Times way back in 1996: “As new technologies search out and lace over every interstice in the net of global communication, we find ourselves with increasingly less excuse for ... slack."


We share ourselves online in the hopes of being liked, but we are all terrified of being judged and being disliked, and it's hard to cut ourselves and the world some slack.

The internet allows us to connect with friends and family around the globe, watch the latest adorable video of a bulldog riding a skateboard, or ignore the endless pileup of emails in our inboxes.  

That's why Zimmerman poignantly uses “The Eye of Sauron” as a metaphor for our anxiety over sharing some photos on Facebook. Because we’ve all had that nagging desire to have power over how many people like our post.

So here are some refreshing comics to give you some perspective on our love/hate relationship with the internet:

1. Love may be one thing we can count on to protect us.

All images by Sara Zimmerman/Unearthed Comics.

2. Being ahead of the game is important.

3. And knowing what works best is a good start.

4. Compassion is key for an enjoyable ride.

5. The simple things don't always turn out the way you plan.

6. It's good to have some perspective.

7. Job descriptions can be flexible.

8. Being productive has different meanings.

9. Time management can get complicated on the web.

These comics are a reminder of how silly the internet really is.

As of June 2016, Facebook reported having over 1.13 billion daily active users. That's a lot of people using just Facebook, let alone the rest of the internet. As technology becomes more ubiquitous around the globe we all grow a little closer but also share in the frustrations that digital communication holds.

So in light of everything the internet offers us, I think we should cut ourselves a little slack when it comes to our relationship with it.

Joy

Man uses TikTok to offer 'dinner with dad' to any kid that needs one, even adult ones

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud.

Come for the food, stay for the wholesomeness.

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud. His TikTok channel is dedicated to giving people intimate conversations they might long to have with their own father, but can’t. The most popular is his “Dinner With Dad” segment.

The concept is simple: Clayton, aka Dad, always sets down two plates of food. He always tells you what’s for dinner. He always blesses the food. He always checks in with how you’re doing.

I stress the stability here, because as someone who grew up with a less-than-stable relationship with their parents, it stood out immediately. I found myself breathing a sigh of relief at Clayton’s consistency. I also noticed the immediate emotional connection created just by being asked, “How was your day?” According to relationship coach and couples counselor Don Olund, these two elements—stability and connection—are fundamental cravings that children have of their parents. Perhaps we never really stop needing it from them.


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Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy asked his Senate colleagues the questions millions of Americans have after a mass shooting.

Another school shooting. Another mass murder of innocent children. They were elementary school kids this time. There were 18 children killed—so far—this time.

The fact that I can say "this time" is enraging, but that's the routine nature of mass shootings in the U.S. It happened in Texas this time. At least three adults were killed this time. The shooter was a teenager this time.

The details this time may be different than the last time and the time before that, and the time before that, and the time before that. But there's one thing all mass shootings have in common. No, it's not mental illness. It's not racism or misogyny or religious extremism. It's not bad parenting or violent video games or lack of religion.

Some of those things have been factors in some shootings, but the single common denominator in every mass shooting is guns. That's not a secret. It's not controversial. It's fact. The only thing all mass shootings have in common is guns.

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Joy

Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

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